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One reoccurring theme I've noticed among my clients and you is that most desire optimal health. Makes sense. We're always looking for something to make life easier, faster, healthier so we can enjoy those things that set our soul on fire.
The girls in the office make fun of Chris and myself ...our Head Customer Service rep, Carey, usually leaves around 3-4 pm, as she opens early in the morning. Carey’s desk is also by the snacks (just in case you wanted to know). So around 3 pm I usually head over there searching for some sort of chocolate… and it’s inevitable that I bump into my husband and we have the same conversation.
“What are you doing..." he'll ask.
“Nothing, getting chocolate” I usually admit.
And then here it comes - the 8 words….
Damn those 8 words.
I hate those 8 words!
Carey says them at same time.
“ What do you want to do for dinner?”
I know you are all feeling my pain right now.
Then of course, Tiffany, head mixmaster, says “chicken wings” laughs and runs away from us.
Cause unless I meal prep, that’s it kids.
Ahhh the dreaded meal prep. But meal prep, when done correctly and timely can be a self care ritual. Because when you meal prep there is a huge ingredient that you give your family that no one else can.
It’s not gluten free, it’s not hiding vegetables in the muffin mix, it's not cutting the vegetables to look like characters.
When you meal prep for you and your family you are instilling self love and unconditional love into your food. There is not much more you can give your family that proves how much you love them….
Except maybe a beach house, a beach house shows lots of love, Chris are you reading right now? No? Well, then everyone else ignore that.
Right, back at it then: meal prep.
Meal prep is a big part of my self care Sunday. I am not Martha Stewart and never claimed to be, so I’ll be honest, I strive for 3 Sunday’s a month. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. You have to plan for it (more on that another time).
Functional Aromatherapy is a big part of my meal prep. Why? You don’t put the oils in your food?
Ah, but D.H. Lawrence, a prolific writer that I fell in love with in high school says “But better die than to live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetition.”
My son would turn that into: Seriously, Mom no more egg cups”. Darn. Back to the drawing board….
So the diffuser comes on.
I add some grapefruit because it reminds me of freshness, and I know I want all my food to have that fresh component. Then I add Lavender, because as much as I don’t use lavender clinically, it seems like home, personally and aromatically.
One of the first oils you learn about in school and the most highly researched is lavender, so to me it’s home.
Then I will add some mandarin or wintergreen. I know totally opposite ends of the spectrum, but so are my moods when I do this. Mandarin has that sweet smell that goes well with grapefruit and it’s like they sing a sweet song together, motivating me to find recipes and prep that do the same thing.
Wintergreen is more compelling and in your face and prominent, making me think of meal prep like Iron Chef (Battle Eggplant cause it’s on sale anyone?).
So the idea of meal prep is a Sunday self care as it is. Sometimes, I do a few weeks in my planner or in a perfect Sunday, start early with the prep of the prep. My diffuser going, my iPad and Pinterest going and figuring out my week. Who has meetings, practice, church etc.
Then I start making the list. Head to freezer, looks like battle eggplant may be battle sausage instead, why did I buy so much of this? Eeek.
We all go to the store as a family. I love this. The 4 of us in the car all talking about wonderful family things and how much we love each other.
... If only.
When I start thinking like that I know I’ve had the diffuser on for too long because it usually goes like this:
Husband complaining about traffic and how people don’t know how to drive, including me, who is driving (eye roll), the 13 year old boy farting on his sister,with her sister punching him and then him going Mom she’s punching me. Then we get to the store, and no matter what one of the kids Achilles heel is bleeding from the inevitable slamming the shopping cart into your sibling game.
So we get back to the house after shopping. You are now the warrior cook in your own Kitchen Stadium. Time to get all your people out of your way. This is your self care moment. When you expend energy and love to yourself and others through food.
I put music on. Usually Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, The Lumineers or Mumford and Sons. If I am trying a new recipe with some tricks I may go Classical. Point it, you are “working” but you are about to enter your zen zone. Do what feels good to you. Think of it as walking meditation, because really that;s what it is. Your meal prep is a way to be alone and think and do an activity at the same time.
In my diffuser, now I'm doing Cardamom, Coriander and Orange. Not only does this blend have a great energetic vibe, it helps me sort out herbs when I am cooking.
This week is Battle Basil in my house. My basil plants are huge and I need to do something with it. So I start by going to the garden and harvesting and washing some, putting some in the dehydrator and just leaving some out on the counter.
I’ve been doing some research on adaptogens and cortisol with FA and did you now that Basil stimulated the adrenal cortex? Which has a direct relation to your cortisol levels, which works with your thyroid? I love the multidimensional of plants...plus, it’s a great digestive tonic.
So off I go...tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. Add some sea salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and ready to go.
I am going to do an eggplant parm with almond flour egg wash. I will put the basil leaves with some garlic and olive oil and add that to my sauce. A few small trays of that go into the over.
Next comes Basil Chicken, again fresh basil leaves muddled and then add some fresh garlic, fresh turmeric root sauteed with my rosemary olive oil, add chicken and boom. I make personal portions of those some with couscous some without because you never knew what side of carbohydrates my family wakes up on.
Found some sausage, sorry kiddo egg cups are it. I make Italian egg muffins with eggs, basil, roasted red peppers and some provolone cheese. If I call them mini-quiches and it will be all good.
Then I found a flank steak.Banged the crap out of that thing to make it nice and flat. Add the basil leaves, some mozzarella, some onions. Tighten it up into a roll and pan sear it. Throw it in oven cut up and have some pinwheels.
Then the salad, add fresh basil to my greens. Done and Done.
3 hours of quiet bliss. I have cleared my head for the week AND made aromatherapy functional to my mental and physical health throughout the whole product.
Monday 3 pm:
“What do you want to do for dinner?”
“I made eggplant parm, just have to heat it up”
No Tiffany, no chicken wings this week.
Do you want the food recipes as well as aromatherapy recipes and rosemary olive oil recipes?
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Juniper and juniper berries were one of the first plants I ever worked with as an herbalist. Juniper essential oil is also a great part of the plant to work with, and I’ve used it in many of my blends.
A lot of people may think of gin when they think of juniper, but the berries from this tree also has a deep-rooted history as far back as the Roman Empire (and probably even further back than that). They are also used in cooking, medicine, and in some cases, flavoring.
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